There are many options for treating SAD. It is usually treated with light therapy, exercise, and good nutrition, as well as antidepressants in more pronounced and severe cases.
Daily (professionally supervised) phototherapy with exposure to a specific type of light (full-spectrum white light) can sometimes eliminate SAD quite quickly. Phototherapy is delivered in a phototherapy device ("light box") that can be purchased or rented on a monthly basis from a private supplier or in medical device stores. People can read, but not sleep, for the several hours a day they receive light therapy.
Symptoms should subside within a few days, but they may reappear if therapy is stopped. Phototherapy should always be administered in consultation with a physician, as there are some people who should not use it.
Exercise is very helpful, especially if it's aerobic and combined with light, for example, walking outdoors on a bright winter day or exercising on a treadmill in front of a light box.
Because many people with SAD gain weight, a healthy and low-fat diet is important to help keep weight gain to a minimum.
Counselling and therapy may also be part of a treatment plan for SAD.
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